Some 200 people have been stranded up to 25m from the ground after a ski lift broke down on Christmas Eve.
The gondola, in the French Chamrousse resort, was reported stuck in the late afternoon and rescue operations were put into action almost immediately.
No injuries were reported and those trapped were confined to the gondolas for around two hours.
Violaine Demaret, an official in the Isere region where the fault took place, said two civil security helicopters dropped rescue personnel over every car to rescue those inside.
They opened the gondola roof hatches, released the skiers inside and lowered them down to safety, she explained.
Authorities tweeted that without the rescue effort those trapped could not have opened their presents, and wished those involved a happy Christmas.